Apparel industry veteran Robert C. Skinner Jr. has exited as managing director of Hong Kong-based Smart Shirts Ltd. and chief executive officer of Smart Apparel (U.S.) Inc., its New York-based subsidiary, WWD has learned. He resigned from the roles on Friday.
Skinner, a former chairman and ceo of Kellwood Co., was promoted in October to managing director of Smart Shirts Ltd. after running Smart Apparel in the U.S. since April 2009. He moved to Hong Kong from New York at the beginning of this year to take on the enlarged role, reporting to Lei Xu, chairman of Smart Shirts Ltd.
Through a spokeswoman, Skinner confirmed his exit and said he is exploring global opportunities in the industry. He declined to comment further.
Smart Apparel has not yet named a successor to Skinner, said John Norris, the company’s vice president of operations.
Smart Shirts is a vertically integrated manufacturer that provides design, product development and manufacturing solutions to retail and brand clients in the U.S., Asia and Europe, via a network of company-owned factories in Asia. In the U.S., its customer roster has included Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Abercrombie & Fitch and Tommy Hilfiger, among others.
Skinner was well versed in the Smart Apparel business when he joined, as the company was previously owned by Kellwood from 1982 to January 2008, when it was sold to China-based Youngor Group Co. Ltd.
Prior to joining Smart Apparel, Skinner was ceo of the Lacoste business in the U.S. from 2008 to 2009.